Water concerns discussed by Rangely trustees, staff

RANGELY | Using observable trends from 20 years of statistical history, Town of Rangely Water and Sanitation Supervisor Don Reed shared his departmental report with the town trustees during last Tuesday’s regular board meeting. The most obvious trend Reed has observed is an increase in temperatures. Reed gave specifics about how much water Rangely has available, how much residents are using and what an emergency situation would look like.

While the river levels are very low, Reed said it’s currently not an issue. Concerns would be raised in the event of a rapid drop in levels. Rangely could rely on water from Kenney Reservoir for 100-150 days in the event of an emergency.

Chevron is the town’s largest water user, and Mayor Andy Shaffer directed discussions to help manage Chevron’s use.

Reed also said the dam is not currently producing hydroelectric power, as low water levels in the river require additional filtration efforts.

Gas Utility Department Supervisor Kelli Neiberger reported on a gas leak and updates to systems and equipment. In discussion about options to reduce spikes in natural gas prices, such as the one in February that raised rates for many Rangely residents, Town Manager Lisa Piering requested a work session after Mayor Shaffer said he would like to see the work done by the second Tuesday in July. Neiberger closed her report with project updates on the La Mesa subdivision and the gas main at the top of Kennedy Drive.

The Rangely Police Department has been working with the RBC Sheriff’s Office regarding area wildfires, according to a report from Chief Ti Hamblin and a similar report from Commissioner Ty Gates. Piering updated trustees on the Oil Springs fire, including preparations and back up plans, and the town’s process of communication with the fire companies and responders. There is hope for community outreach and youth education.

Trustee Alisa Granger asked about board members being in attendance at meetings and Piering said she is working on an ordinance for the town’s position.

Piering also said town employees are busy clearing ditches and making repairs to the sidewalks at White River Village. Janet Miller is to start code enforcement on Main St. Mosquito abatement is not being applied yet. Trustees had a short brainstorm of options of pest abatement at events with acknowledgment that the Mormon cricket invasion could take the focus of pest abatement.

Two dispatchers are in training and the dispatcher supervisor position is still open. The new K9 Neko is set to start with Officer Keller and the reins have been handed over by Chief Hamblin.

Jeannie Caldwell is seeking businesses who need support, to apply for façade grants through the Main Street program TREAD. She can be reached at 970-675-8476 or jcaldwell@rangelyco.gov

In other business, trustees:

  • n Heard and approved 2020 financial statements and a 2021 financial summary.
  • n Approved a Main Street grant for Rangely District Hospital for improvements to North Park.
  • n Approved continued representation by the WRLG Coalition by Garfield County on behalf of the Town’s oil and gas interests.

By KATIE KING | Special to The Herald Times

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